Instagram is Bullshit.
As this being my official "first" post, I might as well start with the initial domino that started this.
About a week or so ago, I was at work and right as I was about to get ready to leave, I started to get a flood of messages from friends letting me know that it had appeared that my Instagram account has been hacked. A user with a very similar, but not exactly same username, had been going through and follow requesting majority of the people that I follow on my account. They has taken all of the info from my bio and even had a screenshot of my profile pic. On the surface it did appear that my account was hacked, but as started to dig deeper, I noticed that it was someone (or something) had setup an imposter account. According to one of my friends, they informed me that after accepting the request from this fake account, they started to hit them up for an iTunes gift card, upon which they told them to go "fuck off" and reported the account.
After getting a FLOOD of messages from people that follow me about what was going on, I quickly reported the fake account. But in order to fully make sure that the fake account is removed, you need to file a claim with Facebook (yes, Facebook since they own Instagram) by submitting your account, the fake account, your name, and your contact email address. Then, they email you requesting that you take a photo of you holding a government issued ID with your face and hand holding the ID so that they can validate it.
At first you think this is bullshit since your sending an image of your ID and yourself over to them to validate, but don't worry. They claim in the email that "once it's validated, your information is immediately deleted from their servers..." which I personally find hard to believe, but the shit thing is that you don't have any other choice but to send it so you can hopefully get the asshat booted off of their network. After submitting a photo of myself with my ID, it took about an hour or so before I noticed that the account was completely gone. As well as the messages from other friends tapered off leading me to believe that the request had been removed as well.
I don't think that my account was hacked since I had two-factor authentication setup and I would have received a notification about it. So, I think it was some asshole looking for money and giving me a headache. But it started to raise some questions for me. For starters, why me? I didn't have a lot of followers, nor am I anyone that has any "large" significance in the social space. So, I'm wondering where this could have come from? I started to think a little more about it and it really could have been completely random, but it was enough to start and take a stance to scrub myself completely from the internet. I had started vlogging a few month back (again) and I noticed that one video was picking up a lot of views so that might have been the starting space. And I know that between my YouTube channel and my Instagram account were pretty deep linked together. So, without haste and fueled with rage, I nuked everything from my YouTube channel. My nuked my twitter account. I deactivated my Instagram account (only to see if I needed to take any further action), and I deactivated my Facebook account as well. This whole experience was a fucking pain, and I honestly don't want to deal with this ever again. So as in the move War Games, "The best move is not to play."
I really liked Instagram as it was a great outlet and alternative to Facebook (which I've been on and off with for the past few years now already), but I started to noticed that some of the suggestions that it was coming back with was something that wasn't really geared to my interests. Also, I was noticing a growing trend of "body exploitation" accounts. Account that seemed to be focusing more on the persons body that the context of the post. This apparently has been a growing trend on Instagram (as well as social media in general) where "influencers" are set to be "candid" within the context of wearing something form-fitting all the while in a "nature setting". Completely random, right? Again, bullshit to the hilt and sadly, it impacting how people (specifically youth) are portrayed as if it were "real". And the biggest thing is that it's not just ads that are doing this. It regular accounts, and for those possibly trying to get picked up as an influencer to eventually get on some paid promotion deal. So, it's no wonder why the cycle of garbage keep going and nothing seems to be resourceful.
It's interesting to see how instagram has evolved much like twitter. In the beginning, it was a place where I could share my photos and also gain insight into other photographers. But now it's become so warped that the value of it has been thrown to the wayside to favor personalities and influencers to help promote a product.
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